Employee Fired For Harassing Transgender Customer Accuses Macy's Of Religious Discrimination

Illustration for article titled Employee Fired For Harassing Transgender Customer Accuses Macy's Of Religious Discrimination

A week ago, a Macy's employee spotted a transgender woman going into the women's dressing room, and decided to stop her and inform her that she wasn't really a woman. The company promptly fired her, but now the employee has enlisted the help of a hatemongering conservative organization and is claiming that Macy's discriminated against her religious beliefs by denying her the right to harass whichever customer she chooses.


On November 30, 27-year-old Natalie Johnson was working at a Macy's in San Antonio when she noticed a teenager shopping with a few friends. She tells KSAT, "I made sure to keep a close eye out on him because he was shopping for women's clothing." You see, despite the fact that the shopper was wearing women's clothing, shopping in the women's section, and wearing makeup, Johnson concluded she was a man. (KSAT is also good at determining what gender people are. While the customer fooled other news outlets into calling her a woman, the station consistently refers to the shopper as "he" in its report.) When Johnson saw the woman go into the women's dressing room, she told her she couldn't enter. "I had to just straight forward tell him, 'You're a man,' and of course that made him, that really got him steamed," said Johnson. The group the shopper was with said she was a woman, and pointed out that Macy's allows people to use the changing room of the gender they associate with.

Johnson says she told a manager, "I've made my choice the other day ... I refuse to comply with this policy." Since she was incapable of complying with company rules, Macy's fired her. Johnson went to the Liberty Counsel, a conservative organization that's called GLBT rights "a radical agenda," then filed a complaint with the federal employment commission. When asked for a response, Macy's said it doesn't "comment on personnel matters," adding, "At Macy's, we recognize and appreciate the diversity of our customers and associates."

Johnson says that by mandating that all employees appreciate the diversity of Macy's customers, the store is forcing her to violate her Christian beliefs. She says, "There are no transgenders in the world. A guy can dress up as a woman all he wants, that's still not going to make you a woman." You may not be familiar with the Biblical passage that says, "Thou shalt only admit women born with female genatalia into the women's fitting room." In Deuteronomy 22:5 it does say, "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this," but if you're going to strictly adhere to that passage you probably can't work at Macy's anyway. A few lines later it says, "Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together," and "Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear." The entire clothing department is in clear violation of these rules!

According to the Houston Chronicle, Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver says, "Macy's has essentially opened women's dressing rooms to every man," and the store must either create a third dressing room for transgender people, or authorize salespeople to assess shoppers' original gender and assign them to dressing rooms accordingly. You know, because when our Founding Fathers put all that stuff in the Constiution about freedom, what they really meant is that religious people are free to impose their personal beliefs on the rest of us.

Macy's Employee Fired After Violating Company's LGBT Policy [KSAT]
Deuteronomy 22 (New International Version) [BibleGateway]
Macy's Worker Reportedly Fired For Not Allowing Transgender Shopper Into Dressing Room [Houston Chronicle]


Kat Callahan

I'm trans. I have worked for Macy's (I work for Macy's on a flex schedule now for holiday funds). Macy's is absolutely 100% committed to nondiscrimination, and that includes gender identity. This is laid out on DAY ONE of the intake process for new hires. You don't like people like me? WORK ELSEWHERE. Bad enough we have to put up with bigot drivel everywhere else. Could we not have it from coworkers and/or store associates when shopping is hell enough?

Yay, Macy's. You fire those bigots and keep making America's Department Store a safe space for me to work in!